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Flame of the week from Karla

By johnboy 6 May 2013 37

It’s been ages since I copped a good solid flame.

I mean we get personal abuse from racist scum all the time for not publishing their vile comments, and then there’s the regular crazies wishing lingering agonising death for having rattled the cages in their minds.

But this, this is something different. Something special.

Enjoy:

From: Karla
Subject: Clift Cresent car accident

Message Body:

I respect freedom of speech, however I find it incredibly distasteful that writers of this site, specifically Johnboy, can write such disgusting, judgemental and fundamentally incorrect statements regarding what happened after the car accident that claimed the life of my brother, Steven Rial and Megan Minney, and seriously injured Rochelle Taylor.

Perhaps it was my mistake to Google my brother’s name. Maybe it’s something that no one who ever loses someone should do, for fear of seeing such insensitive things. Regardless of my mistake, I think the judgement and disrespect displayed on this site is reprehensible and someone should be ashamed of themselves.

Allow me to set the record straight, just in case anyone actually cares about the truth before they condemn people. My father was at the accident site, nine weeks after the accident, clearing the tree and the surrounding area of loose decorations and rubbish that well-meaning and grieving, but perhaps slightly foolish, people had left behind. The owner of the house came out to speak to him. My father apologised for the amount of decorations and such that hung around the guy’s property and assured him that the area would be cleared of all memorial decorations and they agreed that a permanent memorial would be erected at some point. But being only two month since the accident, we were all still a bit raw. None of us were back at work yet and we had never met the Minney family. My mother and I had never been to the crash site and had no inclination to do so at any point in the near future. My father explained all of this to the house owner before they went their separate ways.

The next day the police phoned us to say that the tree had been stripped of the flowers and photos by order of the house owner and were available for us to collect from the station. My family had just been to the crematorium to collect Steve’s ashes and so, emotional and shocked, we made our way to the station and met the Minney’s for the first time. It was not the way that anyone wanted to meet but we were forced into something that we weren’t ready for.

Johnboy says that we were “a mob who hounded the family” for not turning their lives into a permanent memorial to our loved ones. The only problem we had with them was that my father had assured the house owner that we would deal with all the stuff at the crash site and asked for his patience in the matter since we were all still very much in shock. The house owner didn’t have the decency to inform us that he had already called the rangers to pull the stuff down. Either that, or he called them after the conversation with my grieving father. Whichever it was, it was incredibly hurtful and that was the only issue that we ever had with him. As far as I’m aware, none of the family members ever spoke to him after that. None of us ever abused him or his family or did anything to suggest that we “hounded” him. I’m aware that some friends of the kids acted stupidly, but both my family and the Minney’s told them off about it. We were angry and hurt, but we weren’t homicidal maniacs, a
s it appears some people believed us to be. In fact, I think someone in the comments section even quoted a post I left on the Facebook page where I tried to calm people down.

This all happened nine weeks after the accident. You might think that nine weeks is too long, but the last four years have gone by in a blink of an eye. I still see my brother lying in hospital dying in my dreams, while people run around and judge me as a heartless bogan. Maybe you could try to put yourself in our shoes. Our families had lost something so precious to us. At six months after the accident, I was still crying myself to sleep. Nine weeks was barely enough time to become functional.

I don’t know what I’m asking you for here. I’m not suggestion you should take down your ridiculous, accusatory attempts at reporting the news. I’m not saying you should post an apology. Maybe all I’m saying is that you’re lucky that you’ve never had to deal with losing someone, as clearly you haven’t because no one who has ever felt this kind of pain would treat someone else with such disregard. However, we all will lose people someday. Maybe when it happen to you, you will deal with it in such a dignified fashion that you will put us all to shame. But if it does happen to you, then you will know that everyone grieves differently and as inexplicable as people’s behaviour may be during that time, it doesn’t mean that they deserve to have people judging and commenting on their lives, suggesting that they are “bogans” and that somehow, they deserve what is happening to them.

Perhaps when you next write about a grieving family going through an unimaginably tragic time, you might do well to remember that you have no right to pass judgement and you should put your claws away. There is a difference between pithy journalism and being an insensitive jackass.


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37 Responses to
Flame of the week from Karla
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Henry82 5:00 pm 07 May 13

>We were angry and hurt, but we weren’t homicidal maniacs,

The guy who was threatened with his house being burnt down didn’t know that

To quote JB from 2009

>So I think it’s best if we all take a deep breathe, have a group hug, and move on.

zorro29 3:48 pm 07 May 13

how is that a “flame”….fair cop Johnboy

still, the person is wrong – those roadside memorials are illegal in public spaces but on private property it’s inexcusable…and 9 weeks on is a bit much. the homeowner had every right to do what they did

DrKoresh 10:45 am 07 May 13

EvanJames said :

It’s unfortunate that anyone with a tree crashed into by the young and ill-educated can expect to then host a Bogan Shrine for as many months as it takes teh plastic flowers to fade and the teddy bears to rot.

It is unfortunate, but it also doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Karla, so I don’t see why you’re bringing it up.

Grrrr 10:14 am 07 May 13

The “flame” in the title appears to be self referential – it’s an attempt to incite inflamed commentary on otherwise reasonable content.

This well written and clearly heartfelt letter is, IMO, an accurate assessment of this site and the person responsible for it. So I guess kudos also to johnboy for posting it, despite the inane heading.

EvanJames 12:01 am 07 May 13

It’s unfortunate that anyone with a tree crashed into by the young and ill-educated can expect to then host a Bogan Shrine for as many months as it takes teh plastic flowers to fade and the teddy bears to rot.

People should be reminded that normal people do not turn crash sites into tawdry shrines. They grieve quietly and privately.

Jpo 10:44 pm 06 May 13

Gershwin said :

Deref said :

itsallme said :

pierce said :

Seems quite reasonable.

+1

+2

+3.

“Flame”? Nope. Not at all.

+4

Reon said :

Wait, maybe we’re all missinterpreting this? Maybe John’s point is that it is more eloquent and reasonable then the normal angry email he receives?

Not sure about this, given the post is headed ‘flame of the week’.

c_c™ 9:22 pm 06 May 13

G.R.R said :

Riotact…beating CT in readership and spite!

Ah, but the CT still has the ultimate trophy of prompting someone to commit suicide.

G.R.R 8:03 pm 06 May 13

Riotact…beating CT in readership and spite!

Reon 7:21 pm 06 May 13

Wait, maybe we’re all missinterpreting this? Maybe John’s point is that it is more eloquent and reasonable then the normal angry email he receives?

MissChief 7:20 pm 06 May 13

It seems to me this all comes down to a simple case of not doing what was asked. If the father of the deceased had proceeded to remove the entire memorial when asked and then instructed people not to construct a shrine on some poor guy’s property, there wouldn’t have been a story.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 7:18 pm 06 May 13

Not even sure what Karlas point is? It is clearly written but does not give any sort of message.
Are you trying to justify how some bogan trash treated the owners of the property? I remember one bright spark suggesting that the entire group should stand vigil over a trashy and disgusting shrine where some scrote tried to be a hero but instead killed 3 people, and basically use terror tactics to stop the owners from doing what they want to their own place.

It was a terrible loss for the families involved but that does not mean they get to make someone else’s life a living hell just because they happen to live where they do.

In cases like this, the self entitled bogan ism really shines out. Normal peeps mourn at the grave site, not somebody’s front yard.

Masquara 7:14 pm 06 May 13

bd84 said :

Maybe not a flame, but definitely a pointless rant indicating the person needs some more professional when you get an email 9 paragraphs and 500+ words long about an accident and a few words in a RiotAct post that from over 4 years ago.

….

“Email” being an operative word here. I would think that anyone would not expect an email to RA to be published as if it’s a post. This reads as though it was intended as a conversation with JB on email, not for broadcasting to all and sundry! (What is RA’s policy on emails as opposed to posts? Do your correspondents need to put “not for publication” on an email?)

Masquara 7:11 pm 06 May 13

JB I reckon you lost perspective on this one. Reads pretty heartfelt to me. Karla, I don’t know anything about it all or who did the wrong thing but thank you for communicating.

TheBusDriver 6:49 pm 06 May 13

It seems pretty poor form posting a private email onto the RA because you don’t agree with it. It’s hardly a mature way to handle complaints. This one comes across as quite heartfelt. Your comments seem quite heartless, and is bound to cause a griving family more grief.
Not happy John.

Postalgeek 5:11 pm 06 May 13

bd84 said :

Maybe not a flame, but definitely a pointless rant indicating the person needs some more professional when you get an email 9 paragraphs and 500 words long about an accident and a few words in a RiotAct post that from over 4 years ago.

Professional what? Professional ‘help’?
If ‘help’ is the word you’ve accidentally dropped, that’s an absolute load of steaming shite. I’d be curious to see how you would react in similar circumstances.

And JB, you’re showing a bit of a glass jaw there.

poptop 4:48 pm 06 May 13

I am fascinated that none of the family were back at work two months after the event. There is tragedy – all families have to live through their share of them and Karla rightly points out that everyone grieves differently – but the entire family off work for more than two months?

That is . . . unusual.

Erg0 4:45 pm 06 May 13

It’s probably worth noting that JB’s treatment of the original story was not (in my opinion) at all unreasonable.

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